Been trying to find a style for my own comic about current events and history (which I may yet someday make). So I've been looking to art that does it well for study.
Drawing ThoughtsUnderstanding Comics
by Scott McCloud described a triangular compass of cartoon styles, with its three corners as: realistic (e.g. photos, modern super hero comics, etc.), language/meaning (simplified detail, cartoony), and 'picture pane' (abstract or artistic stuff). The 'meaning' corner looked interesting, because it only kept what was necessary to convey the same meaning, and conciseness = awesome.humon
good at this. She has very simplified characters, but every line has a meaning. They have a fantastically large and clear range of expressions, and such dynamic full-of-motion poses that I've rarely ever seen before. Her characters are never stiff: even if they're just standing, they will be slightly slouching, or will be standing straight with their back slightly arched, or whatever suits their personality. You'll notice in this picture, Finland is the only one with a completely straight body, and even that
is used to convey personality -- he sticks out:
Also the characters are quite 3D: the heads are clearly spheres that can move in any direction (unlike silly anime where there are a couple different angles where it's possible to draw a head). I think her style has a lot of knowledge in it, so I'm currently studying it. I may or may not produce a tutorial with what I've learned (depending on whether I can be bothered after I finish learning it, and whether she minds, and whether anyone wants it).
Classical Disney is another style I've been studying. Outstanding. There's so much knowledge in it, I hardly know where to begin. Very 3D, lifelike yet simple and characters. Even the eyes tend to look as though there is really a spherical eyeball under there.
And of course Loomis. Can't be serious if ya don't study Loomis. (Well, you can, but it's harder.)
Featured Drawing Book
Advanced Animation by Preston Blair
Classic cartooning at its best. Unfortunately, they the remake of this book that's in print at the moment is awful. They changed the art and reworded some of the advice and explanations. Fortunately, you can download the original here
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Why: Explained above.